Warning: contains mentions of sexual and gender-based-violence that some readers may find upsetting.
For lots of us this year, a significant amount of time has been spent in lockdown. The unfamiliar isolation may have made it feel even longer. For some, trapped in homes where they have been subjected to new levels of violence and abuse, it will have felt interminable…
Staying at home, staying away from others, keeping separate. These are all things that have been enforced at various points this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Their goal has been to save lives, but for an increasing number of women and girls, the lockdowns have hidden a different pandemic behind closed doors. Lives have been shattered – and sometimes lost – as the statistics around the incidence of domestic abuse have continued to rise.
We, the church, cannot stay silent
Across the world, Tearfund and our local partners are working to combat injustices such as child marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting, and harmful social attitudes toward women and girls which silence their voices and leave them vulnerable to acts of violence.
Jesus came that all may have life to the full (John 10:10). As we follow him, we, the church, are his practical answer to these issues of abuse and discrimination which deny women and girls fullness of life.
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence is a global campaign that runs from 25 November 2020 (International day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to 10 December 2020 (International Human Rights Day).
Please will you pray with us and be encouraged to stand up and speak out against injustice that robs women and girls around the world of their dignity and, often, their lives.
Thank you for your deep love for every one of us. Thank you that you sent your son – a living sacrifice to pay for our freedom from every kind of slavery and oppression. May we take courage to stand up for those who are being denied that freedom. Open our eyes to see injustice, particularly against women and girls at this time. Open our ears to hear their stories. Open our hearts, as the church, to be the place of safety where they can find healing and new hope in you.
Click here to download our prayer resource to help you pray specifically each day during the 16 days.